Monday, August 27, 2012

"I Should Do The Coupon Thing, But...": Pt. 1, Start Small

Almost every time I use coupons at a store, the cashier or someone in line says, "I should do the coupon thing, but..." TV Shows like "Extreme Couponing" or knowing someone who is a coupon queen, can overwhelm "regular" people. So this week I'm going to share some of the things I've learned along the way about starting the couponing adventure.

Just like my little girl (10 months old now!) little-by-little is learning important life skills like crawling, walking, feeding herself... the best way to start your own personal coupon adventure (or get back on the bandwagon) is to START SMALL.

Here are some "baby steps" you can take to Start Small...

1. Set a "goal" for yourself, either a percentage (like 15% of your weekly grocery/household budget) or dollar amount ("I'm going to try and use $5 or more in coupons every week). While that might not sound like a lot at first, it quickly adds up. For example, if you have a grocery budget of $200 a month, you could free up $20-$30 a month to be used somewhere else in your budget. Sometimes you'll go over the goal, sometimes under, but it gives you something to aim at!

2. Learn from the "coupon pros"... follow a couple of coupon veterans by email, blog, or Facebook. Pick 2 or 3 to follow (more than that and you can get overwhelmed, or spend too much time watching deals!). Some of my favorites are Money Saving Mom, Frugal Girls, and Passionate Penny Pincher. They let you know what coupons are available and set up "scenarios" of step-by-step how to use your coupons to get the best deal at different stores. They help take the guesswork out of things!

That's it for now... Start Small by setting a goal for yourself, and learn from the pros! 

And for those of you coupon veterans who might be reading this, what is something that helped you when you started your couponing adventure?

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